DAMASCUS, Syria, July 5 (UPI) -- The whistle-blowing Web site WikiLeaks said Thursday it began releasing about 2.4 million e-mails from Syrian officials and companies dating back to 2006.
WikiLeaks said on its Web site the Syria Files, e-mails from August 2006 to March 2012, "shine a light on the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy, but they also reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another."
"This extraordinary data set derives from 680 Syria-related entities or domain names, including those of the ministries of presidential affairs, foreign affairs, finance, information, transport and culture," the WikiLeaks post said.
"The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria's opponents," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on the Web site. "It helps us not merely to criticize one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only [by] understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it."
WikiLeaks has published hundreds of thousands of confidential U.S. diplomatic cables and classified U.S. documents relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Separately, Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden to answer questions on sexual assault accusations made by two women against him. Assange, who maintains his innocence, applied for asylum to Ecuador June 19 and has been holed up inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since. It is unclear when Ecuador will rule on Assange's asylum request.